Christian Marclay

Live Improvisations

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All live improvisations should be this much fun! This live date between turntablist and electronic weirdmeister Christian Marclay and percussionist and electronics tinkerer Günter Müller is what the art of improvisation is supposed to be: fun, continually compelling textually, and inspired. While many intellectuals have made wild pronouncements about Marclay and his art -- and it is art, make no mistake -- writing all sorts of blather about how he strips the adult century bare by his cutting up of vinyl records and pasting them together with parts from other vinyl records, they never seem to mention that these sound collages of his are charming, very human, and quite often intentionally hilarious. When Marclay is paired with a mischievous percussionist like Müller, anything can happen and always does. Here, swathes of "beautiful music" from the likes of the Bert Kamephert Singers and Orchestra are layered against throbbing drum machines and slamming garbage can lids. There are snippets from the Wizard of Oz recordings, laid in swathes against thundering tom toms and shimmering cymbals, and then scratched against backwards recordings of "Diddy Wah Diddy" done by a bubblegum teen choir as sheets of glass shatter and the sounds of John Wayne movie gunshots punctuate the mix. Yeah, yeah. Marclay and Müller may sift through the detritus of dead cultural artifacts to make something new, but it's not to make a political statement -- it's because it sounds cool as hell.

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